Tuesday, 31 May 2016

REVIEW: Annie at MK Theatre

Annie at Milton Keynes Theatre

Set in 1930s New York, Annie and the other orphans are forced to live under Miss Hannigan’s rule; much to their dismay, they spend all day working, cleaning and sewing. Suddenly, when the opportunity arises for an orphan to spend two weeks at Oliver Warbucks’ mansion, Annie can’t believe her luck when she is chosen! With several obstacles along the way and several hundred couples claiming to be Annie’s biological parents, the performance ends just the way the audience hopes.

A tale of good fortune, love and family, this is such a fantastic production. With brilliant singers, dancers and actors, it was very believable, and the audience were really routing for Annie to find a happy home. What’s more, with its award-winning score, the orchestra really stood out and played very memorable songs such as Easy Street and Tomorrow. 

Best known for playing Dorien Green in Birds of a Feather, Lesley Joseph, played such a brilliant role as Miss Hannigan. She was witty, very funny, and everything I hoped Miss Hannigan would be!

And one cuddly cast member I can’t forget to mention is adorable Amber the Labradoodle, who played Annie’s dog, Sandy. She was so cute, obedient, and had the audience captured by her constantly wagging tail! At just two years old, she definitely has big things ahead of her.

Running from: 30th May – 4th June
Tickets: visit atgtickets.com or call 0844 871 7652

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

REVIEW: Save The Last Dance For Me at MK Theatre

Review: Save the Last Dance for Me

Written by two of TV’s most talented writers, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, Save The Last Dance is full of early 60s hits and chart-toppers such as Sweets For My Sweet and Viva Las Vegas. Put this in the mix with fantastic singers and a young, energetic cast and you’ve found yourself a very memorable, enjoyable production. And for those members of the audience who were old enough to remember those songs in the charts, this was a nostalgic trip down memory lane (and many were singing along!).

As the audience is taken along a journey with two teenage sisters on a holiday without their parents, they are in high spirits and soon meet a handsome young American who invites them to dance at a US Air Force base; this performance is full of young love, dancing and fun.

The cast features Antony Costa from chart-topping boyband, Blue, and 2014 X Factor finalist, Lola Saunders. Both were fantastic, each with unique voices and a great enthusiasm for the performance. Another actor who really stood out was Sackie Osakonor whose strong voice was a pleasure to listen to. The main character Marie played by Elizabeth Carter had the sweetest voice ever.

The costume design was very true to life, replicating dresses and Air Force uniform accurately and in great detail. The live band were also fantastic, and clearly well-rehearsed. The stage set was a music venue on a American air base in Suffolk that really captured the atmosphere of the early 60s dance halls showcasing the music of that era.

Running at Milton Keynes Theatre from: Tues 24th - Sat 28th June

Tickets available from: http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre/

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

REVIEW: Avenue Q at MK Theatre

Avenue Q at Milton Keynes Theatre

A smash hit on Broadway and in the West End, this award-winning musical was absolutely hilarious! Featuring puppets brought to life by an ensemble cast of 11 performers, this musical is all about dreams, growing up and finding your purpose. A relatable coming-of-age show coupled with awesome puppetry and humour that is not over-the-top.

The lead puppet, Princeton, is a graduate who has come to New York and he soon realises the only place he can afford to live in the busy city is Avenue Q… And he finds himself moving in with some very quirky, funny characters!

The comedy skills of the 11 cast members were fantastic, and you could tell they enjoyed doing what they do! The lead puppeteers, Sarah Harlington and Richard Lowe were outstanding with laugh-out-loud comedy and silly facial expressions to match the thoughts and feelings of their puppets. I couldn’t help but watch them as well as their puppets. The puppeteers voices and singing, along with animating the puppets, lip-synching and dancing was so fun to watch and the audience was roaring. The stage set was simple yet effective, based on an apartment block with doors and windows that open up onto different scenes and characters lives and there was the odd bit of humour directed at the audience which brought us all onto Avenue Q with them. 

Avenue Q is the definition of an R-rated performance with truly relatable themes about life’s everyday problems, bad language and rude behaviour. This is most definitely not for the little ones, it’s best they stick to Sesame Street rather than this Sesame Street/South Park hybrid. A highly recommended comedy-musical for those of us that love great humour and the odd inappropriate joke.

Running from: Mon 16th - Sat 21st May
Tickets: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes or call the Box Office on 0844 871 7652

Friday, 6 May 2016

REVIEW: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at MK Theatre

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Review

What a spectacular show! With Lee Mead, Shaun Williamson and Michelle Collins taking the lead roles, the production is full of life, laughter, song and dance.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, written by Ian Fleming,  surprisingly, took 30 years to reach the stage. Originally produced as a film in the late 1960s, this adaptation has definitely done the film justice. Interestingly, Roald Dahl wrote the original film script and this production definitely gave us glimpses of his writing style and sometimes dark humour along with his fantastic imagination which is just irresistible to both children and adults! 

Having won the BBC series ‘Any Dream Will Do’, I was expecting big things from Lee Mead, and he definitely rose to my expectations. With fantastic vocals and a spot-on performance from start to finish, he was very memorable. Starring alongside Shaun and Michelle of EastEnders fame, the trio worked well together. Lee Mead also partnered Carrie Hope Fletcher who was so aptly named Truly Scrumptious for indeed she was! They were all not only enthusiastic, but really seemed to be enjoying themselves throughout the performance. A special mention for all the children who were so endearing as the sewer children. The lead children Henry Kent and Lucy Sherman played Jeremy and Jemima Potts looked to be having a great time singing, dancing to some of the best songs to be had in a musical. 

There were so many other routines and double acts from an extremely talented cast that this is a show that you won`t want to miss. The sets were beautifully designed and decorated, but still left some parts of the production open to the imagination. And, of course, we can’t not talk about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang itself. With the ability to fly, the audience were in awe of this fantastic car!

Running from: 4th – 14th May
Tickets available from: atgtickets.com or 0844 871 7652